Monday, June 27, 2016

Woche 2: Das Kaffeehaus, ein Ort mit vielen Funktionen

For me the core of this lesson is centered on this question "Who are the people that visit a Kaffeehaus?" The lesson begins with a very specific example, Peter Altenberg, and then branches out to more and more general descriptions of everyday people doing everyday things. I think it's nice for a change to flip the convention of teaching general to specific and to flip that model on it's head.

You can also easily connect this lesson to examining a cultural perspective, "Where do Austrians go to connect with and within their community?" You can compare and contrast this with what is done in your students' community.

Unit Essential Question
How do cultural products and practices reveal information about a culture's values or perspectives?

Daily Learning Target: I can describe a scene at an Austrian Kaffeehaus.

Alabama Course of Study Standards Addressed: Modern Language, Level III
3. Use target language to create oral presentations on a variety of topics using familiar vocabulary and learned structures and time frames.
4. Analyze information learned about the perspectives and practices of a target culture to describe patterns of behavior typically associated with those cultures.

ACTFL Can-Do Statements: 
Interpretative Reading (Intermediate-High) 
I can understand the main idea and a few supporting facts about famous people.
Presentational Speaking (Novice-­‐High) 
I can present information about others using phrases and simple sentences.
Interpersonal Speaking (Novice-High)
I can usually handle short social interactions in everyday situations by asking simple questions.

Before strategy: 
Vor dem Lesen: Ss discuss the words: Stammgast, Stammcafé, Stammtisch

During strategy:
Lesen: Ss have a copy of page 53 from "Ins Kaffeehaus" book and have read the biographical text as homework
  • Preview: read out loud biographical text about Peter Altenberg
  • View: Ss present "ich" statements that they created as homework based on the biographical text and back up with textual evidence from the original, then as a group, compose and collaborate on one common text
  • Review: as individuals, fill out a Lebenslauf form for Altenberg
After strategy: 
Nach dem Lesen: Large group discussion of Altenbergs's cemetery stone in the Wiener Zentralfriedhof "Er liebte und sah!" *Altenberg requested that this was what was put on his gravestone.*

Vocabulary/Reading activity: page 8 "Ins Kaffeehaus" book 
  • Aufgabe 2 Ss match images with verb phrases (individual)
  • Aufgabe 3 Ss describe in complete sentences what the people are doing in the images (partner work)
  • Aufgabe 4 (I would recommend this for a more advanced group)
Exit strategy: 
Ss view photo of mine from one of my visits to Café Sperl* in Vienna. Ss compete against one another to see who can make the most questions in German about the photo. Ss do not formulate answers to those questions. They just simply ask questions. 

This activity I found in a document titled "Using Visual Material in the Foreign Language Classroom" by Harry Grover Tuttle. It's listed as #5.

*Interesting factoid about Café Sperl: It was featured in the film "Before Sunrise (1995)" with Ethan Hawke. There's a quick little scene in the cafe available on YouTube that illustrates the atmosphere of a Kaffeehaus before the two main actors enter. Chuckle-worthy for sure.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Kaffeehaus Mittwoch: a unit for level 3

Not only am I a German teacher, I also moonlight, on occasion, as a Latin teacher. Running and planning a classical language course and a modern language course simultaneously is an extremely rewarding endeavor, because each kind of language instruction requires different pedagogical strategies. The magic happens, however, when a strategy for the instruction of one of the languages informs and inspires for the instruction of the other.

Thus was "Kaffeehaus Mittwoch" born for German, level 3.

For Latin 1, I had created "Monday Mythology."
For Latin 2, I had created "Time Machine Tuesday."
If ever I skipped one of these, my Latin students protested loudly! I imagine they appreciated the predictability and the interdisciplinary nature of these days (relevance!) along with the mental break that it offered them from the daily grind of language acquisition.

My primary source of inspiration for this curriculum is the book published by the Bundesministerium für Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur called Ins Kaffeehaus: Materialien zur Österreichischen Landeskunde für den Unterricht von Deutsch als Fremdsprache.

You can order this book here from AATG.

The book (which includes a CD for listening tasks) contains 14 chapters with many activities for all three communication modes: interpersonal, interpretive, and presentational. The book also gave me several ideas for ways in which I could search out or create my own additional activities.

Over the course of the fall semester, I was able to plan out and execute seven "Kaffeehaus" Wednesdays. I intend to develop a few more of them for next fall. The schedule ended up looking like this:

Central to all of this curriculum, was that the students themselves also created their own Stammtisch in my classroom. On these set aside days, students took turns bringing in treats to share, and I housed in the classroom a water boiler for tea and hot chocolate. We created our own Stammcafe. Observers became practitioners! This is something that we rarely are able to do on this side of the pond. All of a sudden, I'm envisioning a week's lesson in which the students reenact a Kaffeehaus scene. It would fit in perfectly following the week three lesson!

I will outline in more detail each lesson in subsequent postings. Gott sei Dank für die Sommerferien! :) Read here more about my initial first-hand experience in a Viennese Kaffeehaus.

Woche 1: Ins Kaffeehaus

Unit Essential Question
How do cultural products and practices reveal information about a culture's values or perspectives?

Daily Learning Target: I can extrapolate a cultural practice from reading a text

Alabama Course of Study Standard Addressed: Modern Language, Level III
2. Interpret culturally authentic written texts in the target language about familiar and unfamiliar topics to determine main ideas and supporting details

ACTFL Can-Do Statement: Interpretative Reading (Intermediate-High) 
I can understand the main idea and a few supporting facts about famous people.

Before strategy: 
Vor dem Lesen: Ss receive 10 previously learned vocabulary words and are instructed to illustrate simply their understanding of each word

  1. die Zeitung
  2. der Treffpunkt
  3. die Mehlspeisen
  4. die Rechnung
  5. die Tasse
  6. die Speisekarte
  7. einladen
  8. sitzen
  9. bleiben
  10. bestellen
Einstieg ins Thema: Ss are asked to answer the question "Was möchten Sie über Wiener Kaffeehauskultur lernen?" (What would you like to learn about Viennese coffeehouse culture?) The intent here is to invest the Ss personally in what we will be learning and to collect ideas for future lessons and activities for this unit. 

During strategy:
Lesen: Ss receive a copy of page 53 from "Ins Kaffeehaus" book
  • read out loud Peter Altenberg's poem "Kaffeehaus"
  • discuss the poem
  • complete Aufgabe 1, Ss write reasons in their own words why someone would visit a Kaffeehaus based on what is described in the poem (partner work, then large group share)
After strategy: 
Nach dem Lesen: Large group discussion of questions 1 and 2 on p. 53 handout

Homework: Read the short biographical text about Peter Altenberg on p. 53 handout. Based on what you read and understand, write a text in the first-person auf Deutsch, in which Peter Altenberg is introducing himself. What kinds of things does he tell us about himself? Possible topics could include, but are not limited to: education, work, family, friends, likes/dislikes, strengths, problems, etc.  

This reading comprehension strategy is a variation of the "Dramatic Monologue" activity described in the article "103 Things to Do Before/During/After Reading"